Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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Contents

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pp. ix-x

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Preface

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pp. xi-xii

This book considers some of the many ways in which Chinese and Western intellectual and artistic texts interacted in their fashionings of cultural modernism by looking at the early life of the Chinese writer, Lao She, and his novel...

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Acknowledgments

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p. xiii

To Robert Bickers, to whose research on Lao She this study is indebted. To those colleagues at the University of Westminster who made it possible for me to be on sabbatical for a semester—Alex Warwick, David Cunningham...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-8

It is a late September evening in 1928 and a young Chinese man sits huddled over the metered gas fire in a draughty room in one of Bloomsbury’s cheaper hotels not far from Russell Square. Uppermost in his mind is that...

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Chapter 1

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pp. 9-34

Lao She’s youth was marked by violence, poverty and exclusion. His earliest memories were the stories told to him by his mother about how his father had died and how he himself, although just a year-old baby,...

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Chapter 2

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pp. 35-56

The events that would shape Lao She’s emergence as one of China’s most important new novelists begin in London, some 15 years before he arrives there, ‘on or around 1910’, the date to which Virginia Woolf would famously attribute the birth of modernism. This chapter will outline...

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Chapter 3

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pp. 57-84

One of the consequences of China’s post-Boxer modernization and developing nationalism was that increasing numbers of students, educationalists, and young professionals travelled overseas to study, teach, and absorb Western ideas. The historian Frank Dikötter reminds us of the often forgotten...

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Chapter 4

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pp. 85-112

The period of China’s utmost vulnerability, from the Boxer uprising of 1900 until the rise of the Nationalist Party in the mid-1920s, coincided with the mass-marketing of Chinese stereotypes and the ‘discovery’ of London’s Chinatown. The history of British involvement in the opium trade...

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Chapter 5

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pp. 113-126

The period of China’s utmost vulnerability, from the Boxer uprising of 1900 until the rise of the Nationalist Party in the mid-1920s, coincided with the mass-marketing of Chinese stereotypes and the ‘discovery’ of London’s Chinatown. The history of British involvement in the opium trade...

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Conclusion

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pp. 127-138

On a sunny Spring day in May 1966 Lao She was interviewed in his traditional courtyard house in Beijing by the British Marxist and pro-communist journalists, husband and wife, Roma and Stuart Gelder. ‘Tell me’, he asked the...

Notes

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pp. 139-156

Bibliography

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pp. 157-166

Index

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pp. 167-172